The American Academy of Dermatology reports that by the mid-teen years, over 40% of people will have some form of acne or acne scarring.
Chances are, you stumbled on this article by no mistake. Like many teens and adults, you want to know if you are addicted to popping pimples, and we’re here to help you recognize the signs and break this bad, but common, habit once and for all!
(Read: 7 ways to sabotage your skin)
Here are four signs that your preoccupation with pimples runs more than skin deep:
1. You see things that aren’t there.
Okay, maybe not in the most literal sense. Sure, there might be a slightly clogged pore on your nose, but it isn’t as bad as you think. That little black dot may even be a freckle, but you aren’t entirely convinced. Not until you get a closer look in your 10x magnifying mirror and give it one experimental squeeze, just to be certain.
2. You can’t resist touching acne prone areas to feel for bumps.
You know where your breakouts occur. You know these areas so well because your fingers are familiar with grazing over them every few hours, minutes or even seconds to search for tender spots or slightly raised blemishes that could feed your desire. When you don’t find blemishes, you aren’t entirely convinced and feel the need to dig deeper. (Keep in mind that touching your face with dirty hands could cause more acne.)
3. You cause flare-ups to become worse.
Sometimes you don’t have to search for acne because it appears on its own. When this happens, your pimple popping obsession goes into overdrive and you attack. Often times, what started out as a small blackhead, whitehead or cyst turns into an eruption that may or may not scar. You might be convinced that what you’re doing will shorten the lifespan of this particular breakout; this is never the case.
4. You feel guilty after popping or trying to pop pimples.
Once the deed is done and the temporary satisfaction wanes, you start to regret digging into your face. You know that there are better ways to handle acne, but you just can’t help yourself. You vow to stop popping pimples but, before you can finish the thought, you notice something else cropping up next to the last one.
While it may feel temporarily relieving, albeit painful, to pop pimples, the fact is that you’re probably causing more harm than good. Manually extracting, or popping pimples, can lead to increased inflammation, scarring and the spread of bacteria under the skin. This can cause even more blemishes, thus perpetuating the cycle.
Some tips to break the cycle:
- Treat existing breakouts with acne products. For example, the Drying Lotion was designed to help dry up existing whiteheads while the Drying Cream is excellent at combating those under-the-surface bumps and pimples.
- Don’t spend unnecessary time in front of the mirror.
- Find a good quality concealer to cover blemishes.
- Relieve anxiety in a different, more constructive way.
- Hold yourself accountable.
Are you obsessed with popping pimples? What are your tips for having a hands-off policy?